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Difference Between Bibliography And Reference Ppt File

There are certain things no one tells you (usually) when you are a university student. You are just expected to know them. When you learn them, suddenly it is as if you are part of an inner circle of respected peers who accept you… but you are not really sure how you got there. The devil is in the details. What sets rookies apart from experts is deep knowledge of details and sublties that others overlook or gloss over. Knowing the difference between a citation and a reference is one of those subtle details that moves you from the category of “novice researcher” to “respected researcher”.

It’s one of those things that you don’t really need to know — until you really want to be taken seriously among a group of experts. It’s akin to car buffs who know the difference between a supercharger and a turbocharger. Unless you are a “gear head” you don’t need to know. But if you want to be taken seriously in that social circle, you might be shunned if you didn’t know.

Regardless of your field, one key element that sets the experts apart from everyone else is their understanding of details in various elements of our work.

For students and scholars, once of these subtleties is knowing the difference between a citation and a reference:


A specific source that you mention in the body of your paper. The format of the citation may change depending on the style you use (e.g. MLA and APA) and the way that you weave the citation into your writing, but the basic elements of the citation that you need to include are:

  •  Name of the author(s)
  • Year of publication
  • Page number or page range

If you quote a source directly you must include the exact page number in your citation or it is incomplete.


This is a list of the the sources you have cited. The references come at the end of your paper. In APA style, this is not a list of “works consulted”. Every source that is listed in your references also needs to be cited in the body of your paper.

Every source listed in your references should be accessible by others who read your work. Think of it as a trail of breadcrumbs that you leave for readers to show them where they can go to find the original source material for themselves.

In APA style, not all work that is cited necessarily goes into the references. For example, personal communications get cited in the body of your paper, to show the reader that you have a source for your information. But if the reader can not track that source as a primary document (because, for example, the information is contained within a private e-mail between you and someone else), then it does not go into the reference list.

Alert! It is not very common that sources are cited but not referenced. Use sources such as personal communications sparingly, if at all. The more credible sources you have in your references, the better quality your work will be perceived as having.

In general, there should be an exact match between the sources you cite in the body of your paper and those that appear in your references.

The actual books, articles and other materials you consult are called your sources of information. You need to know how to cite and reference all your sources correctly.

Now you know one of the subtle differences of of terms used in scholarship that sets apart the experts from the rookies. When you use the terms correctly, those who know will quietly nod their head and accept you a member of the scholarly community.


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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.

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This entry was posted on Friday, October 18th, 2013 at 9:17 am and is filed under education, research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

APA Style is a set of rules for publishing scientific papers at the highest level of clarity and accessibility. You can cite a PowerPoint presentation in another document using APA Style, or you can use APA citations within an actual PowerPoint presentation. Citing a PowerPoint presentation in another document is easy. However, the APA Manual (6th Edition) has nothing to say about placing APA citations in PowerPoint presentations. Read on and see how to do both.

1. How to cite a PowerPoint presentation in another document

Published PowerPoint presentations are typically available on the Internet. When citing such presentations, be sure to include the term “PowerPoint slides” in brackets. Follow the below example using the author, date, title, etc. and the “Retrieved from” URL notation:

Jones, A. B. (2014). How to include APA citations in a PowerPoint presentation [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://jones.uvm.edu/ppt/40hrenv/index.html.

2. How to include APA citations in the slides of a PowerPoint presentation

To avoid plagiarism, presenters need to treat a PowerPoint presentation like any research paper or article. Universities, for example, insist that any academic PowerPoint presentation have appropriate citations for any outside sources. Those sources include:

  • Direct quotations
  • Paraphrased words and ideas
  • Tables and data
  • Images
  • Video and audio files

Treat the PowerPoint presentation as a research paper

Educators and editors strongly recommend adopting APA research paper guidelines to PowerPoint presentations. Specifically, a PowerPoint presentation:

  • Must have a title page.
  • Needs a body with thorough APA citations
  • Has a consolidated References page
  • Has special fully cited slides for tables with figures and statistical data, which can be either integrated in the slide deck or presented at the end.

Prepare the References slide first

The References slide is the final slide of your PowerPoint presentation. It is, however, the slide that needs your immediate attention. This slide is a complete list of every APA citation that appears elsewhere in the presentation. Do the following:

  • Title the slide “References List” or “References.”
  • List the references alphabetically by author (if no author, integrate the title within the author listing).
  • To save space, do not double space or indent your references slide.

Make your first slide similar to the title page of an APA research paper

Your first PowerPoint slide should include the same information as the cover sheet of an APA research paper. Include the title of the presentation, your name, organization, and an author’s note describing the purpose of the presentation.

Include in-text citations for the middle slides

APA citations in the body refer only to the author (or an item in quotations without an author) followed by a comma, the date of publication and a page number, if applicable. These will be throughout the presentation, and when needed, hyperlink all your citations as well as images to their sources. Remember to attribute all quotes and paraphrases to their sources. (Note: Clip Art illustrations do not require citations.)

Follow these special guidelines

1. Number and annotate figures and web images

Include a figure number, a figure description/note and a parenthetical citation of the source from your references slide.

2. Integrate your tables, but include full attributions

Include a complete citation of the table source on individual table slides. This is in addition to listing the source on your references slide. As an exception to conventional advice on matching APA research paper conventions, tables can be incorporated as slides throughout the presentation, rather than grouped at the end.

See these sources for illustrations and samples

The Thomas F. Holgate Library at Bennett College, Greensboro, NC has posted an excellent slide presentation, APA Style PowerPoint Presentations. Also, Purdue University’s incomparable Online Writing Lab has a complete reference list guide for electronic sources (web publications).

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